Each year, the members of the North American Province of St. Elias gather for an Annual General Meeting or AGM for short, during which the friars discuss topics of importance for their Carmelite life, plan for the future, and celebrate the gift of fraternity. Two to three days in length, AGM’s are often used for the purposes of on-going formation, for the marking of significant jubilees of profession and ordination, and to prepare for upcoming Provincial Chapters. This year, almost fifty members of the Province gathered at Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, New York on June 4 – 6. This year’s topics included a wide-ranging discussion on Vocation promotion in the Province led by Brother Robert Bathe, O.Carm. Vocation Director and members of the Province’s Vocation Team. Father Gerald McGlone, S.J. of the St. John Vianney Center, led the Carmelites present in “Conversations That Matter” part of our on-going formation and training in the Safe Environment aspect of our life and ministry, as well as other topics regarding healthy community and personal living.
Brother Brent Alexis, O.Carm., professed his simple vows during the AGM as noted below, and we also celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Ordination of Father Paul Feeley, O.Carm., the Golden Jubilees of Ordination of Father Lucian Beltzner, O.Carm. and Father Joseph Sheehan, O.Carm., and the Golden Jubilee of Profession of Father Sean Harlow, O.Carm.
A significant amount of time was also spent on the topic of future planning within the Province. Based on the Mission and Vision Statements developed over years of conversation and discernment, the friars, led by facilitator Father Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., sought to outline some necessary and useful steps in actualizing our Vision through planning and decision-making. At the end of the session, a list of all the proposals and suggestions was gathered and the work will continue over the course of the next year. The theme of this year’s AGM was “With the Church in the Year of Faith” and being together was certainly a faith-filled and hopeful experience.
Carmelite Friars - North American Province of Saint Elias - P.O. Box 3079, Middletown, New York 10940-0890, Tel:(845) 344-2223, Fax: (845) 344-2210